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Everything posted by mbanu

  1. Rock & Rye

    Admin: Split from the thread on hot drinks. Rock & Rye is the simplest drink in the world, if you start with good rye, and understand a few things. The goal of a good Rock & Rye is to turn a quality rye into a rye liqueur, while keeping it at an appropritate strength. Here's my recipe: 2 ounces Wild Turkey Rye (101 proof) 1/2 ounce simple syrup Combine and serve, either straight or on the rocks. 101 proof rye is used so that the end result will be sweet but still of a standard strength. Made as above, you end up with two and a half ounces of 80 proof rye liqueur. Because you're basically just sweetening a straight rye, the quality of the rye is directly proportional to the quality of the liqueur. That's why I chose Wild Turkey. Some people might prefer to go with Rittenhouse bonded.
  2. The only orange flower water available around here is the Middle Eastern sort that you find at ethnic grocery stores. For those of you who have tried the French stuff, are the Middle Eastern brands of the same quality and flavor?
  3. Boiled tea?

    A video on making boiled pu'er courtesy of Foreign Languages Press via TEARoma: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VjfN_el6SQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbcPXsD-RI8 Bulk of the actual tea-making process is in the 2nd video.
  4. Another oddity... In the early 1800s, 48 Charing Cross was the home of "Thorpe & Grey", grocer and tea-dealer. I'd be curious to know what Mr. Grey's first name was...
  5. Just a thought. I suppose the idea that a Chinese official would send a Hakka medicinal tea as a gift does seem like a bit of an odd story. Apocryphally, the blend was originally released by tea-maker George Charlton of 48 Charing Cross as "Earl Grey's Mixture" in 1836, and bought up afterwards by Jacksons of Picadilly (who was then bought by its main competitor in the Earl Grey trade, Twinings, in 1990). However, the idea of adding bergamot oil to tea was a trick of earlier origin. Here, for instance, is a helpful hint from 1824: I suppose then that another alternative might have simply been that the Earl was cheap? Interesting that the teas mentioned are all green... (maybe the use of non-green tea was the key distinction in Earl Grey's Mixture?) I believe that Twinings claim to fame in regards to Earl Grey is that they were the first to make use of Indian tea in their mixtures.
  6. According to a helpful paper from A. Loconto over at Michigan State University, Typhoo apparently sources some of their tea as direct purchases from Tanzanian tea factories.
  7. Well, they must be doing something right... their sales in the UK are up 53.3% over 2009, although they are still stuck firmly in 4th place in the UK tea sales ranking, behind Tetley, PG Tips, and Twinings, according to Nielsen ratings. Simply advertising? A fairly cryptic quote from the July 2010 issue of Independent Retail News from the Typhoo brand manager: "Driving up consumer basket spend in place of a pure price-reduction strategy"... so that means relying on volume sales to make up the difference in reduced price instead of using poorer-quality tea?
  8. Victorian tea?

    Doing a bit more digging, the double-steep method seems to be a variant of the Chinese method of putting a small amount of hot water on the leaves to allow them to unfold before putting the rest of the water on. However, the amount of time this is done in is much less than the 11 to 19 minutes (!!) suggested by the 1866 example.
  9. 3/4 Noilly original dry, 3/4 carpano, 3/4 Macallan Cask Strength, dashes angostura. Well, it is quite a different drink than the subtle pleasure of the affinity with the Asyla. A bit more heat and maybe less body. Still, it's one of those, "Hm, that's interesting, maybe I should have another sip. Oh oops, it's gone. Another please!" kind of formulations. Thanks again for this. Really impressive.
  10. I'd say it's because Prohibition popularized cocktails, by making it harder for Stateside beer and wine drinkers to find their preferred drinks.
  11. Tanqueray gin Bacardi 151 rum Wild Turkey rye Cointreau Pernod Vya sweet vermouth Vya dry vermouth Angostura bitters creme de menthe orange bitters
  12. Has anyone tried making creme de menthe cherries? I've got a jar steeping, but don't know quite what to expect. On a related note, any ideas for cocktails using cherry-infused red creme de menthe?
  13. Highballs

    This one, at least, I think I can partially answer. A cocktail on the rocks looks larger than one that is served straight up, which can appease a certain sort of drinker. Also, straining a cocktail into the glass over new ice gives the impression of more care being put into the drink than just dumping the drink ice and all into a glass, despite the fact that the end result is essentially the same.
  14. Highballs

    I get the impression that Scotch & water (called a mizuwari) is a very popular drink in Japan. The last time this was a popular order in the US was probably 50 years ago. Why do you think that that the drink (and water highballs in general) went into decline in the United States but not in Japan?
  15. Wild Turkey Rare Breed is a great example of what American whiskey is capable of. It's also available in 375ml sizes. I know that Wild Turkey exports it, but I'm not sure if it is available in Moldova.
  16. I came up with an interesting drink a while back. It used an herbal syrup called Pan Gaoshou. Original entry here.
  17. You might have luck at your local Chinese grocery. Best passionfruit syrup I've ever tasted. Labeled "Condensed Passion Fruit Drink" and imported from Taiwan by the Summit Import Company.
  18. Bar snacks, like them?

    Good olives and smoked oysters.
  19. summertime bourbon

    Bourbon & sweet tea. Bourbon & water with plenty of ice. Juleps. Bourbon & lemonade.
  20. Bloody Mary, vodka & tonic (try it with a few dashes of Angostura bitters), rye & ginger ale (if they have rye), scotch & soda, bourbon & water... Campari & soda is nice if you like Campari, Pernod & water is nice if you like Pernod. Irish coffee is nice when it's cold outside. Maybe vodka Gimlets or Black Russians for cocktails? Both are fairly straightforward. Worst case scenario, it's hard to look like an idiot ordering draft beer.
  21. Make sure the bottles are cleaned and sanitized. The syrups need to be boiled but not caramelized. Christian Schultz (the guy who did the section on bitters, liqueurs, infusions, and syrups in How to Mix Drinks by Jerry Thomas) suggested "small thread" to "large pearl" levels of candying. I've found 2:1 sugar to water to be a good ratio for me. Honey should be cut to a similar concentration.
  22. Nightcaps

    I've found this to be an enjoyable nightcap. 1 ounce bourbon 1/2 ounce apple cider vinegar 3-4 ounces boiling water honey to taste
  23. Highballs

    I've always heard highball used to refer to spirit-and-a-mixer long drinks, excluding hot drinks and frozen drinks.
  24. Perhaps kola tonic was a drink concentrate syrup? That would help explain the dual nature. As to sirop de citron, I always figured it was a precursor to sour mix, maybe something like a lemon-based version of Rose's lime cordial. It's sweet, sure, but you can tell that its role in drinks is as a souring agent. Take the CocktailDB recipes for a White Baby and a White Lady, for instance. One is quite obviously a variant of the other.
  25. The regulars enforce the bar's rules for it, so it doesn't need to spell them out very often. New bars don't have regulars, and some bars never cultivate them, so they have to be more explicit. This should be on a plaque somewhere. I guess the bigger question is, if you don't want the drinks or atmosphere that are a bar's specialty, what is your reason for going there? It's like going to a Chinese restaurant and being frustrated by the lack of French fries.